Photography (MA by Research / MRES / PhD)

hanging up a picture on the wall

Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Centre for Art and Photography, Cheltenham

A PhD in Photography offers you the opportunity to explore innovative practice as research through the production of an original body of work.

You will develop your practice from a coherent research process, demonstrate a critical appreciation of the context of production and siting, draw upon and extend existing literature and practices, and show that the research makes an original contribution to knowledge.

Alternatively, a PhD in Photography can be wholly historical or theoretical, conforming to the conventions of a traditional written theses.

For some candidates PhD research enables them to progress their career by enabling their research to develop, and by establishing their research capabilities and credentials. The final resulting work can be submitted for publication or exhibition to appropriate contexts. For others, the PhD represents an opportunity to commit to a passion or interest that is both personally meaningful, and results in a high-level qualification. PhD supervision offers opportunities for networking, discussing and resolving the siting of the new knowledge/body of work, and also results in the candidates achieving a set of higher skills which can be applied to a wide range of contexts.

Researchers have the opportunity to study, discuss or exhibit their work, engaging with colleagues from a range of areas via seminars, symposia and conferences both on-line and off-line: or travelling to meet with key figures from the area you wish to immerse yourself in.

Our staff work in transdisciplinary supervisory teams with external experts to ensure that your research is supported at the highest level.

Research Areas:

Our current research community offers supervision in areas such as;‘Intuition, expertise and judgement in the capture and assessment of photographic images’. Bob Ryan Supervisors: Prof. Barry Davies, Dr Julia Peck

‘Indecisive Moments: an exploration of the photograph in relation to the temporal dimension of liminality’. Caroline Silverwood-Taylor Supervisors: Nat Goodden, Richard Salkeld

This research contributes to the research priority area Being Human: Past, Present and Future and Creative Practice as Research.

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Entry requirements

  • MA by Research/MRes: at least a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject area
  • PhD: a master’s degree or equivalent in a subject area relevant to the proposed research topic
  • Candidates who do not possess a master’s degree that includes research methods training at an advanced level are required to complete research methods training
  • All applicants will be interviewed to ascertain experience, aptitude and current level of innovation, creativity and critical thinking. The interview will also be an opportunity to identify an appropriate supervisory team
  • EU and international students need IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in any other component) or equivalent


See the further details of tuition fees when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

centre of art and photography
Presenting conference papers, participating in seminars, public exhibitions and other forms of critical exchange, as part of the research process are all opportunities support by the school.
Setting up an exhibition
Opportunity to challenge your own practice and ideas in a community of practitioners and academics with a deep commitment to discourse and exchange around their subject and field(s) of knowledge.
Student taking a photograph
Benefit from personal support with renowned artists, photographers, and design professionals offering expert supervision.

School of Arts

Our School of Arts provides specialist studios with the latest industry technology so you can develop your creative talent. You will collaborate with other artists and designers and be inspired by practising professionals to refine your own authentic voice.

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